Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Words to Live By

Yesterday, the world changed for many people. A wonderful, sweet and loving man was suddenly taken from us. Every time someone who is seemingly healthy, dies suddenly, it always brings our own mortality to the forefront, at least it does for me anyway. Think about it, every day, we go about the busy-ness of living: going to work, taking children to school, paying bills, doing the laundry, making plans assuming everything will carry on the same as it always has.

When I lost my dad 16 years ago, my world stopped. I found it difficult to believe that life went on, people went about their business: going to lunch, buying stamps, getting their oil changed. How? How could those people not see how awful things had become? the truth is, we all live in our little bubbles, oblivious to what may or may not be happening in the lives of others. My grandmother had things that she considered ‘too nice’ to use on a daily basis, clothing, jewelry, dishes. She was saving them for a ‘special occasion’. The thing about that is, every day is special. I found myself thinking the same thing about a pair of nice earrings once. They’re diamond studs, an anniversary gift. I thought these are too nice for this outfit. But then my thinking changed. Diamonds go with everything, but the reality is every day is a gift, special in its own way.

My point here is this, life is short and fragile. We never know from one minute to the next what can happen. How many times have you been delayed at work for some irritating reason when you’re trying to get somewhere, only to find out there has been a massive pile up on the freeway that happened at the exact time you would have been there?

Take the time to enjoy the journey that is life.

Try new foods.

Wear the clothes that are ‘too nice’ for every day (maybe not the ballgown to work, but…)

Go to the places you’ve always wanted to visit.

Say hello to that guy/gal you’ve wanted to talk to.

Take chances, don’t live with regret.

Be present in your life.

Forgive those who hurt you.

Tell the people you care about how you feel every opportunity you get.

Live fearlessly.

Love without limitations.

Drink lots of water and eat foods that don’t come from a box or can.

Exercise and take care of the vessel that is your body.

Read and challenge your brain.

Put your feet in the ocean at least once.

Accept responsibility for mistakes you’ve made, learn from them and move on. Mistakes do not define who you are.

Learn how to cook at least one dish really well.

Grow something.

Take 5 minutes everyday to just be. Be still, listen to the sounds of the earth and your heart.

Catch snowflakes on your tongue. Watch a bee collect pollen. Watch a squirrel bury its nuts.

Wear lipstick.

Dance in the rain.

Smile at a stranger.

Make donations to charitable organizations that mean something to you.

Laugh, often.

Be grateful.

Spend time outdoors.

Focus on what it is and not on what it is not.

And for Pete’s sake, take as good care of yourself as you do the people and things you have in your life. If you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.

This message brought to you by the ‘appreciate life’ committee (aka me!) And please let me know what additions you’d make to this list!

 

 

 

 

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Chipmunks, a 2 Mile High Hailstorm, and a Miracle (Vacation 2015 Part 1)

Wow! Summer, she’s a-flyin. At first, time seemed to be slowed down. But as per usual, 4th of July rolls around and it hits hyper speed on the downhill to kids birthdays and back to school.

This year, our downhill turn to hyperspeed took a detour. A family reunion/50th anniversary celebration in Estes Park, Colorado. All I can tell you is if you have never been to Colorado, you are missing out. Big time. At least the mountainous parts. Eastern Colorado is pretty flat, mostly because it runs straight into Kansas, which is where the idea for pancakes came from. But the mountains, that is amazing.

We left our steaming home town heading north and west for a 10 hour drive to the city of Castle Rock, just south of Denver to spend the night with college friends. They were worried about how ‘hot’ it was there. After I stopped laughing, I reminded them of where we came from, and no, it most definitely is not even close to ‘hot’. Warm for them, but not hot.

If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you will remember our vacation disasters. Every. Single. Time. We either get trauma, drama or a puking kid. Without fail. It has gotten to the point that I really, truly question my sanity when we plan a trip. This, however, was not just a vacation, it was a special occasion, so I didn’t have the luxury of questioning anything. We’d initially planned to take my car, a Subaru Outback, with a car top carrier to put our luggage in. The problem, was that my car didn’t have the proper rails to secure the carrier to. No big deal, except we didn’t discover this until about 7:30 the night before we were leaving. I was pretty sure this was signaling the beginning of another trauma/drama filled trip.

Load up, hit the road Saturday. It was a great day for a drive and we made good time. The last 40 miles before our friends house was through a very remote area and incredibly beautiful, rolling hills and farms. My kids wanted to camp there and I just thought about how many stars we’d be able to see at night. A lovely dinner on the deck looking at the foothills and a beautiful sunset ended our first day.

Ok, I”m thinking. So far so good. But I’m not dumb enough to say anything out loud and jinx it. Neighbors that night decide to use their fire pit and have a party. Til after midnight. With open windows. Close windows=much better. An hour later, my girly is in our room ‘Mom. I think I’m going to be sick.”  Here we go, I thought. She’d just gotten over heated in a stuffy room. She was fine, thankfully.

Arrive at Estes Park Sunday afternoon and the home away from home in time to greet family and nose around the houses. Mom and sister in law and I make a list and hit the grocery store. You know, I never really thought of a grocery store trip as an adventure or anything requiring protective gear. But this is Estes Park. They apparently only have one in the entire town. The town that swells to 3 to 4 times it’s population in the summer. It felt like I was at WalMart on Black Friday. Or the local grocery following a blizzard warning. Between trying to maneuver the cart and the empty shelves, it was chaos. I don’t envy the people who have to recover and restock the store overnight. The cashiers really should get hazard pay. Here’s a tip, if you’re a grocery store owner, put one in Estes Park, you’ll make a killing!

Here’s the first half of our trip:

Sunday: A short trip from Denver to Estes Park. Which was nice, since the drive on Saturday was about 10 hours. See above adventure in local Safeway.

Sunset over the Rockies our first night

Monday: Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove up to the Alpine Visitors Center. On the way, we saw wildlife, got rained on, hailed on and snowed on! In the photo below, you can see the rain moving through. Those clouds dropped a single bolt of lightning and the PING of a lone hailstone that sent us all scrambling for our cars. A few minutes later and further up the mountain, a hailstorm at 11K feet was incredible and frightening all at once!

Rain moving through the valley, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rain moving through the valley, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Above the treeline, Rocky Mountain National Park

Above the treeline, Rocky Mountain National Park

Mountain stream, RMNP

Mountain stream, RMNP

Tuesday: Rafting the Cache La Poudre river. It was very fun and yes, the water was ridiculously COLD! The bus ride up and back was an adventure in itself!

Cache La Pudre River. Water was in the 30's!

Cache La Pudre River. Water was in the 30’s!

Wednesday: We attempted shopping downtown. With 19 ppl, it’s more like herding cats! In the evening we had surprise anniversary party for Mom and Dad in law, it was their 50th we were celebrating. I don’t have any pics of the gang shopping, so I’ll share a few of the flowers and scenery.

These babies were everywhere!

These babies were everywhere!

A random bathtub. Why not?

A random bathtub. Why not?

Yes, this is near the home as well!

Yes, this is near the home as well!

Beauty around the home.

Beauty around the home.

Stay tuned for Part 2! More to come!

Visit Estes Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Jedi Mind Trick on a 6th Grader AKA Everyday Parenting

Hello friends. Yes, I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but that’s life, right? Isn’t that what they say, life is what happens when you’ve made other plans.

Life these days is full of teenage boys and drama tweens. My girl is the light of my life. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She makes me scream. She makes me angrier than I ever thought I could be. And that’s just the first five minutes after waking up. No really, I love her more than anything. But middle school is hell. In case you don’t remember it, I’ll refresh your memory. Your friends find other friends to hang out with. Your body isn’t the one you’ve known your whole life and is doing weird, hairy, smelly things. You want desperately to fit in, not stand out. You are trying to figure out who you can trust and who your real friends are. Who YOU are. You’re full of self-doubt, self-consciousness and feelings you don’t understand. Some days the slightest thing will set you off and send you into a tailspin.

It’s a difficult time and seeing all of the crap she’s going through has reminded me just how awful it was/is. As a mom, sometimes I feel like I just can’t win. Any and all of my brilliant advise is summarily rejected simply because it came from me (the exact same thing coming from her favorite teacher becomes truth). Hmm, sounds vaguely familiar. Part of my job as taxi driver/chef/housekeeper/tutor/head cheerleader, is to try to bolster her self-esteem, her self-confidence. I want to instill in her the mentality that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. Love her though I do, drama seems to unnecessarily follow her about some days. Parents of tween girls, can you relate? Of course you can. They’re all the same, just different size/shape/color/intensity.

My precious girl has wanted long hair for a very long time, so she’s let it grow for the past year or so. It’s finally long enough we can start doing fun styles with it. Her latest discovery: the sock bun. She made her own little form for it and everything. We watched a YouTube video for instruction (of course!). I worked it over and managed to make it look like a bun, I was so excited!

Here’s how it goes. She tries and it doesn’t work the first time around. She tries again to just put it in a ponytail, but it’s in the wrong place for her liking, gets frustrated and tries to give up.

“I can’t put it up in the right place.”

‘Yes you can, just try it again.”

“I CAN’T DO IT.’

“Ok, first, lower your voice. Next, yes you can. It’s just hair.”

tries, fails.

“My hair hates me!”

“Honey, it’s hair, it can’t hate you. Try it again.”

“I told you. I can’t do it!”

<sigh> “Yep. You’re right. You can’t.”

stunned silence.

“Wait, you’re supposed to tell me I can do it!’

“I was telling you, but you didn’t believe me. So now I’m just agreeing with you.”

“But you’re not supposed to do that.” <getting huffy>

“All I’m doing is agreeing with you. That’s all. If you don’t think you can, you’re absolutely right.”

Stunned silence again, shaking her head and walked away.

Next time, I think instead of trying to convince her that she can do whatever she’s convinced she can’t, or at least telling me she thinks she can’t, I’ll stop and just agree with her.

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29 Things New High School Grads Need to Survive

I work in a high school. I don’t remember ever being as young as the kids are in my school, but clearly, I was at some point. I mean, it’s not like I could skip an age, right? No matter how badly my daughter might wish it. No matter how badly I wished it once upon  a time. It’s pretty comical now. I used to ask my mom why she waited so late to have me, why couldn’t I have been born when she was younger, that way I’d be older already. I know, I know. Now I see the fallacy in my thinking. Never, and i mean N.E.V.E.R. try to grow up too fast. Life will pass you by in the blink of an eye and before you know what’s happened, someone with gray hair and wrinkles will be looking back at you from the mirror and saying, ‘What the hell happened?”

So, in celebration of my 29th high school graduation, I wanted to share 29 things I learned with the newly minted high school graduates.

1. Do what you say you’ll do. Don’t commit to something and then back out or change your mind. You’ll look like a flake and no one will belive you next time around if you make a habit of it.

2. Accept responsibility for what you do. You can’t blame someone else for what happens to you.

3. You can only control yourself, and nothing and no one else. Try not to waste too much time and energy being upset over things that are out of your control.

4. Hug your mom and dad while you can. They’re the only ones you’ll ever get and they won’t be here forever.

5. Don’t gossip. It is a form of character assassination, for the gossiper, not the subject of gossip. If it isn’t your news, don’t share it. You’ll make many more friends this way.

6. People will hurt you. Don’t let that change who you are, but don’t be a doormat either.

7. Don’t be afraid of change. Without change, we can’t grow and find out who we’re meant to be.

8. Don’t tie yourself to people that make you unhappy or are negative. Life is too short and there will be plenty of your own struggles and drama, you dont’ want someone else’s.

9. Never, ever settle for less than what you want, especially when it comes to your love life.

10. The best things in life take work, alot of hard work, to achieve. Do the work, you’ll appreciate the result much more.

11. Don’t post things on Twitter or Instagram that you don’t want your parents, a college admissions counselor or future employer to see, because they will. 

12. If it’s online, it’s forever, even if you delete it.

13. Don’t ignore those little red flags that you feel in your gut, they will never steer you wrong.

14. As cliché as this sounds, everything happens for a reason. Just know it’s the way it’s supposed to be, go with it.

15. Karma has a long memory and she’s a bitch. Let go of the anger know that the universe will make the corrections and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show. It may take a while, but it’ll happen.

16. Your boss is paying you to work, not clock in & hangout. The more initiative you show at work, finding things to do when it’s slow, the better your odds of keeping your job for a longer period of time.

17. Work in retail or restaurants at least once. Just trust me on this one.

18. Say ‘Thank you’ and mean it.

19. Don’t be afraid to disagree with people, but don’t be mean and rude when you have discussions. Conversations with people who have different views or are from a different background can be quite enlightening.

20. Don’t judge a book by its cover. What someone looks like, may not be the whole story, get to know someone before deciding if  you like them or not.

21. Go to the dentist. Brush and floss your teeth every day. Unless of course you want to have dentures, and if that’s the case, don’t worry about the first part.

22. Always be true to who you are and don’t let someone else change you to suit their needs or desires. If you meet someone who makes you want to be a better person, that is a different story altogether.

23. Try new things, food or music or whatever. You never know, you might find a new favorite that you’ve been missing.

24. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

25. Be courteous on the roads and let people in. And always use your turn signals and seatbelt. They literally could save your life.

26. Nothing good happens after midnight. Ever.

27. Take care of yourself. You can pay now and play later. Or play now and pay later. If you want to be the cool granny/pops w/the kids at Disney, you can’t sit around now playing video games and eating cheetos all day. Eat well, exercise often.

28. If you’re going to do something, go all in. Don’t do it halfway.

29. Smile. Alot. 

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Hamburger Soup

I know, I am so sorry, I feel like I’ve completely neglected my duties here. I’ve been working really hard and taking the easy route way too often. Don’t be like me. I have had this recipe for a while, but as with things, I forgot about it until someone mentioned it. Ah, yes. I need to make some. No, it’s not like a hamburger in soup form. It is soup with hamburger (read ground beef) in it. I think it was originally titled “Steak Soup” meaning ground steak, but since I’m poor, it’s hamburger!

I actually got this originally from my cousin’s grandmother. Wait, how is she not my grandmother too? Oh, right, because she is the mother of my Aunt, who was married to my Uncle-dad’s brother. Are you confused yet? I am. I need to sit down. Anyway, she made this and I loved it and I begged her to share the recipe. I bet my cousin, Steph will remember it! I love it, it’s hearty, delish, reheats well and makes a big batch. I did change up a few things from Grandma Bunny’s original just to make things a little easier and quicker on the preparation, but without changing the taste.

Hamburger soup

Hamburger soup

Hamburger Soup

1/2 stick butter
1C flour
1C onion diced
1C celery sliced
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables 10-12oz (steam in bag)
1lb ground beef
2tbsp beef base
1 can diced tomatoes
1lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
8C water

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef with onions. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter and mix with flour to make a roux (a giant ball of flour goo).
3. Stir well and cook slightly.
4. Add water gradually, using a whisk to break up clumps and help blend water & roux
5. Cook frozen steam in bag vegetables.
6. Add all veggies, meat, beef base and tomatoes bring to a boil and drop temp and simmer until veggies are tender, approximately 30min-1hr, or until done.

I just really love this soup. It’s very hearty. The picture doesn’t adequately show all the yumminess, but you’ll love it!

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T.G.I.F.B.I.O.O.M.M.

Did you catch that? My title? I’m pretty sure you got the first part of it. Would you like me to share the rest? I’d love to. But first, you have to hear the story, well, stories, behind the title.

So, sit back, grab your popcorn, and get ready to spray beer/soda/coffee through your nose. Well, maybe not that funny, but pretty damn comical. You’ll see. A little background. I work at a local private high school answering phones, taking attendance. Fun stuff.

All of these things happened on Fridays. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent, or terminally dense people involved.

I answer the phone ‘Good morning. Can I help you?’
“Wure playing football thayre tomorra mornin. Y’all got a football field?’
Stunned, picking jaw up from the floor. ‘Yes sir, we do. It’s on the north side of the campus on 36th.”
‘Oh. Ah didn’t know y’all had a field. Y’all got bleachers and everthang?’
‘Uh, yes sir. We have bleachers. We even have a snack bar.’
‘Oh, alrahty the-in. Thanky.’
We didn’t always have a field. We used to play on other local high school fields. But that was in the late 80’s. And by the way, why would we rent out a field we didn’t even have? SMH

Same Friday. Only a bit later in the day.
It’s game day. We’re facing our biggest rival at home, our first home game of the season. Everyone is jazzed about it. It’s huge in our season. We have a pep rally. Remember those? Yep, they still happen. I mean, come on, it’s high school. It’s a requirement! My building is outside the fence of our school (long story) there are gates for pedestrians as well as vehicle traffic. The gates are closed during the day, but the pedestrian gates close, they don’t lock b/c students have to pass thru them to get to my building.

It’s time for pep rally. The cheer squad, pep squad, band and everyone who needs to be there early has already left the building. Save one. She’s beautiful. Very statuesque and just stunning. She’s stayed behind to change into her cheer uniform. She’s the last one and she’s marching with purpose to get to the gym before the flood of kids come out of their rooms. She walks out of the building, only to come right back with a bewildered look on her face.

“Did you forget something?’
looking at me wild-eyed and very concerned.
“The gates are closed!”
“Of course they are, they’re always closed during the day.”
“But how am I going to get through??”
Stopped me in my tracks. She was dead freaking serious.
“Do you see the cross walk? If you follow it, there is a gate that you can pass through.”
“Oh, ok. Thank you!” She says to me as if I’ve just given her the answers to her chemistry final.
Seriously, the ant trail was not there, she was used to following the herd of kids coming through the gate. She’s a very sweet girl, and I’m positive she’ll never have difficulty passing through the gate again!

The following Friday, we had a driving incident involving pedestrians and burritos. There were no major injuries, but I know two young men who will be the safest drivers around. All of which occurred after I’d arrived at work early. EARLY on a Friday. Only to spill coffee on myself, not a little, a WHOLE MUG, getting out of my car. Helluva way to start a Friday. I’d gone home to change clothes and one of my coworkers had come to cover my desk til I could get back. When I returned, there were police cars, an ambulance and fire truck. Can you imagine, she said she’d never cover for me again!

Last Friday, as I was locking up the building. It was well after dismissal, teachers and students were all long gone. A car pulls up and a young man pops out, sees me locking up and runs over to me.
“Can I get in?”
“What do you need? Everyone is gone.”
“I just need to get this to Mr. A.”
“He’s gone.”
“Oh. Ok, I’ll just leave him a note.”
“He’s GONE.”
“He’s gone?” bewildered look, as if he’s just noticed me standing there speaking to him.
“Yes, he’s gone. You can email him if you need to.”
“Oh, well, it’s nothing pressing.”

So….Friday. Yeah. I love ya, but man, could you cut me a break this time around?

Oh, right, the title. Are you ready? Here goes.
Thank God It’s Friday Because I’m Out Of My Mind

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It’s a God Thing

Not to get all religious on you or anything, but you know, some times things happen in your life to make you understand there’s a higher power at work that you may not realize. I’m not in your face about my faith, it’s very personal to me. If you ask me questions, I’ll be happy to share my beliefs with you, but I’m not going to push anything on anyone. I just don’t go for that. I’m of the school of thought that there are three general things in life that I don’t discuss: politics, finances and religion. It seems to avoid a lot of disagreements and overall bad feelings.

I’d been working as a sales manager part-time since last fall. It was a fun job, I liked the people I worked with, but there wasn’t a ton of money to be made. But let me back up for just a tic.

I was a newly licensed health care professional when my first child was born. I went back to work. It’s what you do, right? Then a few years later, my next child came along. We were all thrilled with the addition to our family. However, when the baby got a little older, I realized I needed to be with my children. I mean, who better to take care of my precious babies than me, right? No $7/hr day care worker would or could give them the time & attention they need. So I closed my business and became a stay at home parent. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and have regret over something I could have done, but didn’t. In case you haven’t guessed by now, it was the second best decision I ever made. The first, marrying my husband.

Yes, it is difficult. I will not sugar coat it. It was a decision made with much love and consideration. And one that I continued because of my sense of duty to my children. Please don’t misunderstand my words. That decision is personal and what I did wouldn’t work for everyone. My best friend never understood how I was able to be at home all day with my kids. Many parents would love to be able financially to be stay at home parents. And I think there are equally as many thinking “No way could I do that. I’d go nuts!” Again, something very personal.

Fast forward to today. I have been praying for a long time for God to lead me in the direction I should go. Where I needed to be. I was unsure about going back into healthcare because of the amount of time & expense required to get relicensed and established. My children still need assistance with homework. And if I’m being honest, refereeing at times. Soon enough they’ll be in college and won’t need any assistance, but while they do still need me, if possible, I want to be here for them.

Last year, one of my cousins went through an ugly divorce. She is a school teacher and grew up here in my hometown. I hadn’t asked her (I didn’t want to be one of those nosy family members) but I thought maybe she might be considering a move back here, closer to her mother & sister (she’s currently several hours away). I went on the website for one of our local private high schools to see if there happened to be a teaching position open that she would be qualified for. We have several private high schools here, but this is the one we’ve been planning to send our children to all along.

In fact, I’ve looked at their websites many times, in search of a position that I would be qualified for, since I’m not a certified teacher. Certifiable, maybe, but not a teacher.

This particular time, when I went on their site, I found a receptionist position. It was like I heard angels singing. Truly! I was floored to find it and just elated at the possibility of not only working where my children will one day go to school, but also at the opportunity to earn more money for our family.

I sent in my resume, and waited. I followed up. No dice. They’re offering it to someone else. Well, ok. I was disappointed, to be sure. But I also tried to remember that if this was the case, then it simply was not meant to be.

But then….I got a voice mail. From the principal, asking me if I was still interested and would I be available for an interview. I was so excited, I could hardly breathe and I was running in circles in my house! literally! I called my husband and thought I might pee everywhere like one of the little yippy dogs that tinkle when they get wound up!

I went in for the interview & felt good about it, but as the days ticked by, I resigned myself that once again, it just was not meant to be.

I am one who really tries to see those kinds of signs and accept them for what they are. If a house I was interested in, sold before I was ready to buy, I might be disappointed, but I would also realize it wasn’t meant to be and I would find the right house when the time came.

When I received the phone call with the job offer, I was beyond ecstatic. It was the answer to so many prayers. Not only to be in the same place my children will be, but to have the same days off they do, to be off early enough in the day to be at home & available to assist with homework. And to be in a place, an institution that believes in not only educating the children, but to help them become the best people they can be, and focusing on them as individuals, not simply test scores.

I have felt so much love and joy since I have been there. Before the beginning of school, we had orientation for the new school year, each grade had their own specific time. I would be lying if I didn’t say seeing them gave me warm fuzzies. The boys were hugging each other. Seeing their friends after a summer apart, just to see their genuine affection and camaraderie was just wonderful. When I say hugging, I don’t mean the one arm guy hug, but real hugs, like you’d give a long lost friend or family member that you were truly happy to see.

I know without a doubt this is where I’m supposed to be. I was led here for a reason. Is it anything beyond my family and children? Who knows. But right now I know I have found where I belong. Yes, the early mornings are kicking my butt. Yes, there’s a lot to learn for me still, to the point sometimes I feel like a total moron, but I’m still learning & there is quite a lot to it.

I suppose the point of this post is to not give up on your dreams. And even when you aren’t sure anyone is listening, keep repeating it. And be open to the thought that what you thought you wanted may not really be the right thing for you.

“Lord, guide me where I need to be. Show me the way.”

This was the simple prayer I said every night as I went to bed.

**NOTE: I started writing this post in August. I’ve now been at my position for two months and I am settling in and learning the ropes and routines. I am thrilled to be working there and part of an instution of that caliber. To be part of the real love and caring for the students and families as a whole, not simply test scores. In the faculty lounge a few weeks ago, we had this very conversation, while this post was on the back burner.

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The Life of a Retail Manager

In case I haven’t shared that part of my life with you yet, my husband is a retail manager. Has been since he walked across the stage in the funny hat way back in the day. I won’t totally out him on his age, but it’s over 20 years. In his early years, he worked for a company that liked to move him. A lot. He lived in 11 cities in 10 years. Seriously. A crazy amount of moving around. Is it any wonder that he can’t recall anyone from those times? When you’re in a city for scarcely 4 to 6 months, give or take, making friends is tough.

Yes, we met in retail. We were both working at a store, long story, another post. If you’re lucky enough to never have worked retail, it’s a difficult and thankless field to be in. The customers are cranky. Management is cranky because your payroll is through the roof or sales figures are in the toilet. It’s not for the faint of heart for sure. There are moments of happiness, when someone expresses their gratitude when you help them in some way. But mostly, it’s people just looking for someone to bitch at when they can’t bitch at their spouse. It’s difficult to be someone’s whipping post when what they’re dealing with truly has nothing to do with you. Or maybe even the store you’re at.

One day last week, my husband was on his way out the door when a customer stopped him. His name tag reads ‘Store Manager’, so it’s not much of a stretch when someone asks. Here’s how it went down (pretty much)

Man: ‘Are you the store manager?’ in a growly and very unhappy tone.

hubs: ‘Yessir. I am. What can I help you with?’

Man: ‘I have shopped at this store for years and never, NEVER have I been treated the way I was treated today. I am extremely unhappy.’

hubs: ‘What is it you need? I’ll be happy to help you.’

Man: ‘I was in the shoe department and I asked one of your employees for help. AND THEY JUST WALKED AWAY!’

Hubs doing a mental headshake at the possibility. preparing for the ugliness that will surely follow. ‘Alright, let’s go see if we can find what it is you’re looking for.’

They head to the shoe department, hubs mind is going 90mph all the while. They arrive in the shoe section, the man gives my husband the name of the product he’s looking for. They walk to where the shoes should be.

Man: ‘There are your people right there!’ the man points to a cluster of people at the end of the aisle who are standing around chatting.

Hubs-mental head shaking again, almost becomes a spasm at this point. Keeping a straight face carries a high degree of difficulty right now.
‘Uh, sir? Those are customers.’
The shirts this group of people is wearing is the same color as the store employees uniform! He’d mistaken customers for employees and got mad as hell when one of them wouldn’t help him! Hubs helped the man find what he was looking for and they went back to the front of the store.

When they arrive he begins again on my husband.

Hubs: ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’

Man: ‘My wife was having trouble getting help too.’

Wife: ‘EVERY TIME WE GO OUT YOU START AGAIN WITH THIS! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE DOING IT HERE!’ and she proceeded to dress him down at the front of the store.

I’m sitting here w/a grin on my face shaking my head all over again. And all I can say is, some people. So the next time you think your job is tough, be glad you’re not in retail. It really is a dog eat dog field.

 

 

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Marisa’s Spicy Pretzels

Hi there! Did you miss me? I know, I know. It’s been way too long. I’ve been working and trying to get myself into a routine of some sort and frankly, it’s kicking my butt!

However, I am thrilled it’s football season! I love spending a Saturday afternoon watching my favorite team grind it out on the field. Have I been lucky enough to attend a game? Nope, not yet. But soon, very very soon, I will get to go see a game live and in person. And I’ll get to go with my honey and hang with my cousin’s boyfriend who’s an alumni, season ticket holder and regular tailgating kind of guy. He’s invited us to tailgate with him, so naturally, that’s where we’ll be going. Of course, we want to bring something to contribute. When I mentioned that I love to bake, it was met with a ‘meh’ kind of face. He said they don’t really do sweets. I suppose he has a point. Chocolate chip cookies don’t really go well with burgers and beer.

I found out that many of my coworkers at my new job enjoy cooking like I do. My cohort in crime, my mentor and overall hand holder, Marisa, shared a recipe with me that will be perfect for tailgating. Or let’s face it, any time you want a tasty snack. This is a super easy recipe and easily customizable to suit your tastes. If you’re a SPICY person or just a spicy person, you can change it up!

Marisa’s Spicy Pretzels

1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1-1/2 tsp garlic salt
3/4 C canola oil
bag of pretzels (I used a 1lb bag of the square pretzels, Marisa used the little stick pretzels)

In a gallon size zipper bag, pour the oil and dry seasonings and mix well.
Add the pretzels and toss to coat. Let pretzels stand approximately 4 hours, occasionally turning the bag to increase coating. Store in an airtight container.

I used 1/2 tsp of cayenne b/c I like spicy, not SPICY! They are tasty and addictive! My husband is ready for another batch!

Enjoy!

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A Few Simple Rules

Yes, I am still alive and causing trouble! I’m sure I’ve got a new recipe to share, but today, I’m going to share some advice, free of charge! Yes, I know, unsolicited advice is always worth what you pay for it. But I had an experience a few weeks ago that inspired this post. that and a few other thoughts that some people (mainly of the male persuasion) may not really know and/or understand when it comes to dealing with those of us who belong to the fairer sex.

I almost want to quote Elle Whatshername from ‘Legally Blonde’. Remember the courtroom scene when shes’ questioning the daughter who has the terrible perm? ‘The rules of hair care are simple and finite.’ But with maybe one little revision. ‘The rules of speaking to women are simple and finite.’

Are you ready? Take notes if you like, or book mark this page for future reference.

Oh, wait, I almost forgot, the inspiration for my post. So I was shopping, and at the checkout, I looked down to get my card out, and the young man behind the register said ‘Are you a senior?’ I must have given him the ‘you go to hell! You go to hell and you die!’ look because he quickly backtracked, muttering under his breath, ‘nevermind, you don’t look like one.’ Um, look. I know it was time to get my hair done and there were more grays in there than I normally like to have, but I still have more pepper than salt. So, I’m not the sweet young thing I used to be, but I’m not in the nursing home just yet! I’m years, YEARS I say, from receiving my AARP card in the mail. You know, that is just one of the things you don’t say to a woman.

Now that you’ve heard the kind of day I was having, here are the rules:

1. Never ask a woman ‘Are you tired?’, which translates to ‘You look like hell.’

2. Never ask a woman ‘Are you pregnant?’ unless you are 100% sure she is, better to keep your mouth shut, otherwise you may find yourself with a fat lip!

3. Never ask a woman ‘Have you gained weight?’ This needs no explanation. Although, you may want to be out of throwing distance because you’ll likely find a lamp, book, or some other heavy object lobbed at your head.

4. ‘Do these pants/skirt/muu muu/table cloth make my butt look big?’ The only way to answer this, and I mean ONLY way, ‘No honey, they make you look hot!’ ‘No honey, they make you look 10lbs slimmer.’ To simply answer with a ‘No’ or a ‘You look fine’ you should also be prepared to duck from flying objects. Or, you could avoid it all together and say, ‘I’m going to get myself a glass of wine/comb my hair/whatever. Do you need anything?”

5. Never ask a woman ‘Are you feeling ok?’ Once again, equates to ‘you look like hell’. And I can almost guarantee you, if she’s not feeling ill, YOU will be very, very soon.

6. Never say to a woman ‘It looks like you’ve had a long day.’ See numbers 1-3 for clarification.

7. Never come home from work, and ask the wife who’s been home with small children all day, ‘What did you do today?’ In addition to having things lobbed at you, including poopy diapers, there’s a good chance you’ll get daddy duty for many hours in return, most likely with a crying and inconsolable child. Rather, say ‘How was your day?’, and pay attention to her when she tells you what happened. I promise, you’ll be glad you did later, as boring and tedious as it may be at the time, and I’m not talking about feeling like being part of your child’s day, if you catch my meaning.

What to say if you want the day/evening to go well:

Have you lost weight?
What are you doing, your skin is glowing?
Is that dinner? It smells delicious (even if it smells like straight up shit)
Let me take care of the laundry/dishes (better yet, just DO IT w/o saying a word. HUGE brownie points)
Is that a new dress? It looks amazing on you.

Any questions? Oh, and yes, at some point, all of these things have been posed to me. Yes, the results were not pretty, and no, the person who said/asked did not make the same mistake twice.

Oh, and one last thought to leave you with. Never. And I mean N.E.V.E.R say ‘It must be your time of the month.’ Or ‘Is it your time of the month?’ I don’t care if she’s levitating over a bed and projectile vomiting pea soup straight at your head, say this or any version of it, and your reproductive future will be in serious jeopardy, you’ll be sleeping on the couch with one eye open, and you can’t say you haven’t been warned. You can think it all you want, but verbalizing this single statement will get you in more trouble than all of the others put together. Combine it with any of the above, and you’ll have some sort of mysterious ‘accident’ never to be seen again.

That is all. Carry on.

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